GREENSBORO — Kaitlin McGoogan capped her high school track and field career today by sweeping the throwing events at the NCHSAA Class 4-A championships. But the route to her two titles couldn’t have been more different.
McGoogan started with the discus and uncorked an opening throw of 142 feet, 9 inches to give everyone else in the field something to shoot for on their throws. With the temperature topping 90 degrees at N.C. A&T’s BB&T Stadium as the competition literally heated up, no one came close to McGoogan’s opening throw — including the Ragsdale senior. She won by 27 feet, 1 inch.
“It is draining, absolutely draining,” McGoogan said of competing in the heat. “I get really bad migraines from the heat, so I take my Ibuprofen and try to make the best of it. … But it’s mental. If you start thinking it’s hot, it’s hot, I’m tired, that will also affect your performance.”
Later in the meet, McGoogan found herself locked in a duel with West Forsyth’s Destiny Griffin in the final round of the shot put. It came down to the last, best attempt for each, with Griffin throwing last.
As the results were tabulated, McGoogan thought she’d finished a close second. But her throw of 38-11¾ was a half-inch longer than Griffith’s final throw and McGoogan had another title. McGoogan said she had been in close competitions before, but “never this close.”
“I was really nervous,” she said of the moments just before the winner was announced. “It just had me shook up and I wasn’t ready for what (the meet official) was about to say. I’m really happy I pulled out the win.”
It was a “bittersweet” finish to an outstanding career for McGoogan before she heads to UNC-Charlotte in the fall.
“I’m happy I get to move on to the collegiate level of competition at Charlotte,” she said. “But leaving this — the whole atmosphere, environment and my teammates — I’m going to miss this, too.”